Jeremy Hill and The Wheels of Justice

Easier to leap over defenders than the criminal code - Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

The criminal justice system takes a long time, but all Miles and the rest of us can do is wait and then honor the results.

I'm reluctant to weigh in on Jeremy Hill's legal situation because we don't really know anything about it. It's pretty easy to write the internet hard ass column and talk about what a thug he is and why Miles should make an example out of him or why the DA's office should have him strung up by his fingernails.

If you want to read that column, it is available here.

I think Matthew Harris is wrong when he says that it is likely Hill's days as a Tiger are likely done. It's likely we don't know jack about the case and Miles will make decision once the legal situation will sort itself out. I do think it's incredibly unlikely that any college football coach in the entire nation would suspend his star running back for a misdemeanor. Hill getting formally charged with simple battery is actually a sign that Miles is likely to reinstate Hill to the team.

Then again, DA Sue Bernie has also stated she will file a motion to revoke Hill's probation. Now, there's a long way from the DA filing a motion to a judge actually signing an order, but it's not the news Jeremy Hill wants to hear. If his probation is revoked, then he is more likely to go to jail than play another game in Tiger Stadium.

So the Blogger Handbook says I'm not supposed to wildly speculate based on the scant public knowledge of the case on whether the judge will revoke Hill's probation. Harris thinks the judge will revoke the probation, and that the "faint optimism" that this is just legal maneuvering is a "severe misreading of the tea leaves." I didn't do well on my OWLS in the subject of Divination, so I'll leave predicting the future to others more qualified.

Harris also filed a news story in addition to his opinion column about the Hill situation. Under the headline "ADA: Jail time 'appropriate' for LSU RB Hill". Buried in the ninth paragraph is some good news for Hill:

Brent M. Stockstill, a local defense attorney and former prosecutor, said most people on misdemeanor probation who commit a second misdemeanor do not have their probation revoked.

"The volume of people placed on probation (who) don't complete all of their conditions would fill up every known prison in the world," Stockstill said. "But for this being a high-profile case, I don't think there would be any chance of his probation being revoked."

Now, Hill wouldn't be the first guy to be getting sterner treatment from law enforcement because the case is more high profile, and no one likes to look soft on crime. And Hill is no choir boy. He's on criminal probation for unlawful carnal knowledge of a minor and now he was in a bar fight. That's two strikes against him.

It also doesn't mean this kid is Aaron Hernandez or anything. He's serving probation for a misdemeanor, and he violated it with another misdemeanor. It's a disturbing pattern of poor decision making, but does anyone honestly believe he's a real danger to society? Most of our youthful indiscretions end up being funny anecdotes we tell our neighbors and not fodder for the local police blotter. Of course, most of us weren't ever high profile representatives of the university.

Les Miles is handling this thing the exact way he should, and he should be commended for it. Hill remains indefinitely suspended as we all wait for the legal system to sort this whole thing out. I haven't seen any indication that the football program is trying to exert any influence on this case and pressure the DA. Miles, like the rest of us, is just sitting and waiting.

I don't know how the judge will rule on the battery charge or on the motion for revocation of probation. Neither does Miles. If Hill's probation is revoked, there is no way he can remain on the team. If it is not revoked, then likely Hill will serve a two or three game suspension for his actions in the fight. Either way, justice is served by everyone honoring the legal process. The DA will aggressively prosecute him and his attorneys will vigorously defend him. That's how the adversarial system works.

We don't need to try this case in the media or over the internet. The courts will handle it, and then Miles will act accordingly. Whatever the decision is, I'm sure it will be based on more information than what any of us have.

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